By Oliver Stone
As 2016 closes, we find ourselves a deeply unsettled nation. We’re unable to draw the lines of our national interest. Is it jobs and economy, is it national security, or is it now in our interest to ensure global security — in other words, act as the world’s policemen?
As the “failing” (to quote Trump) New York Times degenerates into a Washington Post organization with its stagnant Cold War vision of a 1950s world where the Russians are to blame for most everything — Hillary’s loss, most of the aggression and disorder in the world, the desire to destabilize Europe, etc. — the Times has added the issue of ‘fake news’ to reassert its problematic role as the dominant voice for the Washington establishment. Certainly this is true in the case of Russia’s ‘hacking’ the 2016 election and putting into office its Manchurian Candidate in Donald Trump. Apparently the CIA (via various unnamed intelligence officials), and the FBI, NSA, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (who notoriously lied to Congress in the Snowden affair), President Obama, the DNC, Hillary Clinton, and Congress agree that Russia, and Mr. Putin predominantly, is responsible.
Certainly the psychotic, war-loving Senator John McCain is right up there alongside these patriots, calling President Putin a “thug, bully and a murderer and anybody else who describes him as anything else is lying.” He actually said this — the man whose sound judgment chose Sarah Palin as his VP nominee in ’08. And the Times followed by printing the story in its full glory on page one, clearly agreeing with McCain’s point of view. I don’t remember Presidents Eisenhower, Nixon, or Reagan, in the darkest days of the 1950s/80s, ever singling out a Russian President like this. The invective was aimed at the Soviet regime, but never were Khrushchev or Brezhnev the target of this bile. I guess this is a new form of American diplomacy. If a black youth in our inner cities were killed or a Pakistani wedding party were murdered by our drones, would President Obama be singled out as a murderer, bully, thug? Such personalization is a sign of sickness in our thinking and way beneath what should be our standards.
Note the enclosed link (“US Intel Vets Dispute Russia Hacking Claims”) from the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (which includes the ex-NSA reformer Bill Binney, a mathematical genius who inspired the Nic Cage character in “Snowden”). He talks here about what hacking really means, as opposed to a ‘leak’. The Times and other mainstream media have surprisingly evaded any contrary evidence, such as that presented by Craig Murray, ex-ambassador and Wikileaks spokesman who says he was given the information in a Washington park by a Democratic ‘insider’ who was disgusted by the behavior of the DNC; Murray then gave it to Wikileaks. This was a ‘leak,’ not a ‘hack,’ and always seemed to me the likely source for this scandal (as I think the Sony leak was as well, falsely blamed on North Korea, but that’s another matter). And if this were to be properly investigated, it might very well lead to the discovery that this was Hillary Clinton’s ‘Nixon moment.’ Clearly the DNC offices were up to no good. Ironically, Clinton first made her name as one of the investigators into Watergate. See Mark Ames’s article, “Site Behind McCarthyite Blacklist,” tracking this foul play to Washington Post journalist Craig Timberg.
I remember well in the 1950s when the Russians were supposed to be in our schools, Congress, State Department — and according to many Eisenhower/Nixon supporters — about to take over our country without serious opposition (and they call me paranoid!). It was this same media who insisted on our need to go to Vietnam to defend our freedoms against the communists 6,000 miles away. And after the Red Scare finally went away for good in 1991, let us remind ourselves that It never ended. It became Hussein of Iraq with his weapons of mass destruction, and talk of the ‘mushroom cloud.’ It became the Demon, as real as any Salem Witch Trial. It was Gaddafi of Libya, and then it was Assad of Syria. In other words, as in an Orwellian prophesy, it never ended, and I can guarantee you it never will — unless we the people who still think for ourselves in this existential matter, can say “Enough” to this demon act. “Enough,’ “go away” — laugh in their faces.
Of course, the NYT/WaPo nexus rarely publishes any of our serious dissents and therefore we take refuge in alternate media, such as ‘The Nation,’ ‘Consortiumnews,’ ‘The Intercept,’ ‘Naked Capitalism,’ ‘Counterpunch,’ ‘Zero Hedge,’ ‘Antiwar.com,’ ‘Truthdig,’ ‘Common Dreams,’ etc. I think then we were all quite shocked (but not surprised) when recently we saw 200 WEBSITES listed as tools of the Kremlin (WaPo’s November 24, “Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election”).
My God, the ghost of Izzy Stone is back from the 1950s! For that matter, so is Tom Clancy from the ’80s. False thrillers will now be written about the Russians hacking the American elections. Money and TV serials will be made. I’ve never read such hysterical junk in the New York Times (call it what it is — “fake news”), in which the editorials have become outrageous diatribes of alleged crimes by Russia, many of them presumably written by Serge Schmemann, one of those ideologues who still looks for Russians under his bed at night; they were called ‘White Russians’ in the old days and, like right-wing Cubans in Miami, are unable to live down past grievances. Schmemann is obviously riding high at the NYT edit board. This type of thinking has clearly influenced the Pentagon and many of our Generals’ statements, and has pervaded MSM reporting. When one group-think controls our national conversation, it becomes truly dangerous. In this spirit, I’m linking several crucial essays of new vintage, pointing out the disgrace the MSM has become.
As much as I may disagree with Donald Trump (and I do) he’s right now target number one of the MSM propaganda — until, that is, he jumps to the anti-Kremlin track because of some kind of false intelligence or misunderstanding cooked up by CIA. Then I fear, in his hot-headed way, he starts fighting with the Russians, and it wouldn’t be long then until a state of war against Russia is declared. I have no doubt then that our over-financed military ($10 to every 1 Russian dollar) will mean NOTHING against a country that right now believes the US, with the largest buildup of NATO on its borders since Hitler’s World War II, is crazed enough to prepare for a preemptive strike. In his analysis, “The Need to Hold Saudi Arabia Accountable,” Robert Parry points out that this conflict ironically started in the 1980s with the Neoconservatives defining Iran as the number one terrorist sponsor in the world. How this leads to our present mess is a brilliant analysis that is unknown to the American public.
I urge you to read the following articles and stay calm in your thinking. But bring it to bear in some way. As a believer in what the Dalai Lama says, every single one of us, even through our prayers, can add to the betterment of this world. I never thought I’d find myself praying for the level-headedness of a Donald Trump. Remember “The Iliad”? As Homer would have it, the gods would hover over each day’s battles and decide on the outcome. Who would die and who would live. Are the gods still listening?
Robert Parry, “Making Russia ‘The Enemy”
Joe Lauria, “Russia-Hack Story Another Media Failure”
Justin Raimondo, “Stop the CIA Coup”
Robert Parry, “The Need to Hold Saudi Arabia Accountable”
Ray McGovern, “US Intel Vets Dispute Russia Hacking Claims”
Mark Ames, “Site behind Washington Post’s McCarthyite Blacklist”
Robert Parry, “A Sour Holiday Season for Neocons”
Oliver Stone: Award-winning director, producer and screenwriter. Films include Untold History, Scarface, Platoon, Wall Street, JFK and Natural Born Killers.